After failing in their attempt to steal a Nevada Rancher’s land last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is now setting their sights on ranchers in other areas of the country.
Tommy Henderson, a lifelong rancher in Texas, is locked in a vicious battle with the BLM who is trying to seize his 90,000 acres or land. Unlike the showdown in Nevada – where BLM officials claim Cliven Bundy has failed to pay them, what in my opinion are illegal land fees to begin with – Henderson has faithfully paid all federal fees, taxes and even has a legal deed to the disputed land.
But that isn’t stopping the BLM from going after the rancher.
In an attempt to steal this rancher’s land, and claim it for the Federal Government, the BLM is attempting to redraw the Texas/Oklahoma state line, so they can nullify the rancher’s legal deed to the land. Because the Red River splits the boundary between the two states, and that river has eroded some of the Texas land over time, the BLM is attempting to use that erosion to say the rancher’s land now falls inside of Oklahoma.
Tommy Henderson, who is facing the very real possibility of losing his ranch, commented on his battle with the BLM:
“How can BLM come in and say, ‘Hey, this isn’t yours.’ Even though it’s patented from the state, you’ve always paid taxes on it. Our family paid taxes for over 100 years on this place. We’ve got a deed to it. But yet they walked in and said it wasn’t ours. Originally, here the river was out there where it is now and it eroded and accreted up to here, and then it eroded and accreted back. Well, their interpretation is that it eroded up to here but avulsed back. So when you listen to them it is always erosion to the south because the property line follows it then, but it’s always avulsion when it goes north. So the boundary can move south but it can never move back north.”
If the BLM is able to use this bogus legal maneuver, and redraw the state’s line, Henderson could find himself without a legal Texas deed to the land that will now fall inside Oklahoma – at least according to the federal government.
As we noted last week while covering the Bundy Ranch saga, the federal government has laid claim to much of the Western United States. In fact, in Nevada where the Bundy Ranch is still under siege, the Federal Government has claimed ownership of 84.5% of the State’s land.
As the map below shows, Federal intrusion into the Western States has created an environment where these States have very little power over their own land.
Here is what the federal government claims they own in the Western states:
Nevada: 84.5 percent
Alaska: 69.1 percent
Utah: 57.4 percent
Oregon: 53.1 percent
Idaho: 50.2 percent
Arizona: 48.1 percent
California: 45.3 percent
Wyoming: 42.4 percent
New Mexico: 41.8 percent
Colorado: 36.6 percent
Washington: 30.3 percent
Montana: 29.9 percent